Every month, 23 million gigabytes of unnecessary data is downloaded by users to display poorly designed websites, or 5 million hours waiting for nothing.
This massive data download requires oversized and energy efficient infrastructures that have a budgetary cost but also an environmental one.
Thanks to the eco-design, we can reduce our environmental footprint, reduce service and maintenance costs while increasing the performance of our websites.
Facebook decreases its CO2 emissions.
Facebook has halved the number of servers required for its operation by compiling its PHP code to C++ for its website.
This transition from an interpreted code to binary code allowed them to halve greenhouse gas emissions from its data center. It also prevented the build of a new center, that is to say, several thousands of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and savings of around $ 100 million.
Without the eco-design web, the Internet will consume as much energy in 25 years than the whole Earth in 2008.
Another example: in 2009, the 300 million Facebook users would spend 8 billion minutes a day. The technical infrastructure was consuming about 100 million kWh per year, this is as much as the annual electricity consumption of 2 million French and 43 million Madagascans.
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, Facebook data centers have produced 60 000 tonnes per year, or 1 / 10th of Laos emissions.
In 2012, these emissions rose to 300,000 tonnes, the equivalent of 50 000 French in a year. In terms of energy, this represents as much electricity as 10 million French.
The eco-design web: a balance between performance and resources.
Unlike a traditional approach to performance optimization of a site that depends on efficiency, the eco-design wants to find the balance between the performance level to be achieved and the amount of resources used to achieve it . This is called efficiency. It is indeed easy to get very high performance by an abundance of means, but these means have an ecological and economic cost. To eco-design a site is to adopt the right compromise!
The eco-design applies to all the phases in the creation of a website:
• client code,
• server code,
• the content.
The good practices of eco-design
The good practices of eco-design can be relatively simple to implement (eg using CSS abbreviated notations, preferring the quote to double quotes, using ++ $ i instead of $ i ++ …) or very complex (eg using CMS optimized Pressflow instead of Drupal, creating a ‘responsive’ website tailored to all media, …).
The eco-design software is still an unknown area. However, it can allow to divide by a factor 2 to 100 the need of IT resources while improving the performance of Web sites.
So IT can also have a role to play in sustainable development and protection of our planet.